Monday, April 27, 2009

Too Many Squirrels

I recently spent 10 days on the road in Atlanta, Georgia for the American Whippet Club National Specialty Show. I think it is important to get my dogs Wyatt and Patriot out for their daily exercise when we are on the road, not to mention myself.

I went for a few runs by myself earlier in the week. I found a little neighborhood near the busy Atlanta airport. Midweek, I met the lovely and talented Shawn Rudd and her whippet Georgie. Shawn and George did a flyball demo at the national and Shawn and Bella are a previous winner of the Willow Award. It turned out the we use very similar training methods for our very similar whippets Wyatt and Georgie. We went for a nice run with me holding Wyatt because Patriot was showing and went for another nice walk with our dogs. On the last day of the show we went for a final run. I thought I would bring both dogs as usual and give one for Shawn to run since she does not run with her dogs - due to a injury she received when running with Georgie.

We net at 8:00 AM which was earlier than usual. We started seeing lots of squirrels and I mean lots, like one every 10 feet. We have plenty of squirrels in New England but nothing like this. Patriot was pulling on his leash pretty bad so I gave Wyatt to Shawnie. Usually I keep Wyatt with me because he is so bonded to me he constanly tries to get by my side, Wyatt was good for Shawnie though and I had better luck with Patriot - at least until we came to a little squirrel infested park.

Suddenly, the squirrels appeared everywhere. Wyatt veered in front of me going left and Patriot surged right. I ran into the crossed leashes and Wyatt before I could react. Down I went on the hard Georgia cement sidewalk. Shawnie, in a dilemna, did not know whether to help me or grab Patriot's leash. She wisely got Patriot and came back to me. I somehow landed with the outside of my left hand down and bleeding and the on the outside part of my right wrist on my (dominant) right hand. My watch was another victim of the fall with the wristbands coming off the watch. I was bleeding pretty good on my left hand and my right wrist hurt like hell. I figured it was probably a sprain. We walked for a short distance and then jogged back to the hotel. We were mid-run so it took about 15 minutes to get back. Needless to say, my speed was not great. Wyatt appeared fine. His gait was good and we did not see anything bleeding at that time.

We went to hotel desk and asked for some band aids. It is a really posh hotel and I think the desk clerk was more than happy to provide many different kinds of band aids to prevent bleeding on the carpet. I washed up my left hand, got some ice for my right wrist, and noticed that Wyatt was bleeding too.

I went back to the ballroom where the conformation was going on and watched for a while. I figured I would ask one of the vets at the show to take a quick look at Wyatt. The scrapes looked minor but it would be good to check. Barbara Henderson, a very kind person, agreed to look at Wyatt after she showed a dog.

She got her stuff and very carefully cut away some fur and carefully cleaned out Wyatt's scrapes assured me that all would be well but that she would clean everything out to prevent infective. She saw me bleeding and told me she would also look at me - after she was done with the dog.
She cleaned me out about 10 minutes later and said I should get an x ray when I got back. She kindly went back to her room and got a roll of bright orange vet wrap with smiley faces on it that I used for until I got back home.

Wyatt ended up being fine. I drove 2 days back. Luckily, the wrist, which turned out to be broken, was fine for driving. Getting the van loaded, especially the heavy metal crate, was very challenging though. Just remember that if you and your dog get injured at a big dog show, that you will taken of - just don't expect top priority!


Jules said...

Oh wow!! I wondered how you broke your wrist. It is always nice to have an interesting story to tell! Heal quickly.

Elayne said...

Hope you are healing quickly.

Aniemother said...

Ouch! Hope it heals up in no time!


John Heffernan said...

Thanks everyone. It is healing quickly and I don't need a cast.

Alice said...

I am so sorry you got hurt, yikes. I hope it is healing quickly.
-- Alice